Whitehouse Inn's America-themed menu sates appetites for classic domestic fare such as steaks and burgers, and the presidential portraits that line the walls encourage scintillating historical conversations. In honor of the 27th president for which it is named, the mushroom-topped William Taft dish of char-grilled beef is slathered with onions and thick beef gravy to help grease it out of a too-small bathtub ($11.99). Platters of juicy prime rib range from 8-ounce AARP cuts ($11.99) to 36-ounce presidential cuts ($35.99), and all arrive with Secret Service escorts of a salad or soup, dinner rolls, and choice of side. Oval-office burgers such as the hickory burger with barbecue sauce and bacon ($6.99+) resolve international disputes with the help of a neutral mushroom-swiss burger ($6.99+). Pair any dish with a selection of sides, including sweet-potato french fries and waffle fries that emigrated from France on a buoyant waffle iron.
Carrying on the tradition of his father Labib Hajjar, a restaurateur who opened the original Poco Piatti location on Monroe Street, Elias Hajjar and his wife Joy have created a welcoming new space where locals can experience Mediterranean cuisine. Diners choose from Greek classics including moussaka, Italian-inspired dishes such as prosciutto crepes with basil and homemade sundried-tomato sauce, or Middle Eastern-style kabobs with swordfish or beef tenderloin. The owners have designed the interior to resemble a Spanish villa—the mural above the bar colorfully depicts rolling Mediterranean hills, and a stone oven churns out freshly baked pita bread or lights the miniature Olympic torches of waiters jogging by.
Since 1996, Labib has given back to the community as the co-chairperson of Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation Toledo, an annual food and wine event that, according to The Toledo Blade, raised more than $100,000 to help fight childhood hunger in 2011. Elias also follows in his father's community-minded footsteps by electing to source his ingredients from local suppliers.
When it comes to the Fratello's heaping portions of lasagna and chicken piccata, you'll want to do some sharing of your own. That's doubly true on Sundays, when the restaurant loads their brunch buffet with custom omelets, belgian waffles, and biscuits with made-from-scratch gravy.
Back in the 1950s, Ramond Tejada, Sr. and his dad, Alfred, introduced the town of Taylor to its first taste of Mexican cuisine, serving family-recipe tamales, tacos, and tostadas from a drive-in they called the Matador. Though the original founders are long gone, the family legacy lives on in the restaurant's current incarnation, where the fourth generation of Tejada restaurateurs serve sizzling fajita plates, meaty Texas-style chili, and tapas of mini-tacos and guacamole dip. The menu spans across Mexican and American culinary landscapes, with homey bowls of menudo and breakfasts of chorizo and eggs served alongside beer-battered cod, fried chicken, and 1/3-pound hamburgers. Guests can also revel during weekly special events, such as exhibitions by balloon artist Andrew Grosjean or Monday margarita nights featuring buy-one, get-one half off. Birthday revelers will indulge in shared botana appetizer on their special day along with free fried ice cream if they join the email club.
For more than 42 years, Gracie See Pastaria's repertoire of cheese-dripping specialty pizzas and rib-sticking pasta platters has satisfied cravings for flavorful Italian fare. Launch a two-person feast rocket with the Clucker—a flock of wings, buffalo wings, chicken tenders, and miniature tacos—or gather four folks and cram for a popper quiz with a 20-piece study guide of deep-fried broccoli and cheese. Marinara-drenched main courses include pasta options such as healthy whole-wheat mostaccioli and the Godfather plate, with its large extended family of italian sausage, homemade meatballs, and mushrooms. Flattened stacks of pepperoni, sausage, and green pepper litter the Sicilian pie, and the spicy Middle Eastern Explosion shakes hands with halal ingredients, onions, and garlic. Meatless munchers might try the cheese ravioli or split the vegetarian pizza. These Roman repasts may be washed down with a glass of wine, soda, or beer, or enjoyed Italian-style with a quart of olive oil.